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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
George O'Brien
Janet Gaynor
Margaret Livingston
Bodil Rosing.
Directors
F W Murnau.
Screenwriters
Hermann Sudermann.
Running Time
91 minutes

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Sunrise
Compelling melodrama from this adaptation of Herman Sudermann's A Trip To Tilsit.


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Plot
A wife passes from bliss to betrayal and forgiveness to fear, in trying to come to terms with her husband's infidelity with a city vamp.


Review
Planned in Germany and filmed in Hollywood, this adaptation of Herman Sudermann's A Trip To Tilsit (subtitled A Song Of Two Humans) is a remarkable combination of European art and American craft.

Given total control by the studio, F. W. Murnau built a romanticised rural retreat and a temptation-riddled metropolis on the Fox lot to control every patch of seductive moonlight and dizzying impression of urban unfamiliarity. Charles Rosher and Karl Struss thoroughly merited their Oscars for the lustrous visuals (the first achieved with panchromatic stock) and symbolic shifts of mood.

Janet Gaynor's award-winning performance is a masterclass in silent mime, as she passes from bliss to betrayal, forgiveness to fear, in trying to come to terms with husband George O'Brien's infidelity with city vamp Margaret Livingston. It's compelling melodrama, but less cinematically significant than Murnau's earlier classic, 'The Last Laugh'.


Verdict
This sexy melodrama and intense psychological thriller provides an original and satisfying mix of romanticism, artifice and realism.


Reviewed by David Parkinson


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Average user rating for Sunrise
Empire Star Rating

Masterpiece

Four stars for one of the finest pieces of film making ever? Bizarre. The film is mind blowing in it's technical achievements and absolutely beautiful and heart wrenching in it's depiction of betrayal followed by forgiveness and love. I haven't been able to shake certain scenes from my mind since I saw it a few months ago. Utterly stunning film. Not to mention ultimately the most uplifting, life affirming thing I've ever seen. An incredible piece of art. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Coyleone at 20:23, 17 January 2014 | Report This Post


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